Private High School Student Loans | LendEDU (2023)

Private high school is popular, at least with1.5 millionUS Students Receiving a Private High School Education in 2020. Average Private High School Tuition$15,777 a year. It can soar above the cost of an undergraduate university if the private school has an excellent reputation, such as The Dalton School in New York.

Unlike student loans for college, families considering a private high school education do not have federal financial aid options because the federal government already funds K-12 public education.

However, parents who want to invest in a private education before their child starts college have many other options for private high school student loans, including student loans and personal loans.

In this guide:

  • Private student loan options for high school
  • Alternatives to student loans for private high schools
  • How to apply for a private high school loan

Private student loan options for high school

There are many options available if you want to take out student loans for private high school. An education loan is the best option for financing secondary education and often offers the most competitive terms. However, you must meet certain eligibility requirements to qualify.

A private loan may be the next best alternative if your family cannot secure an education loan. They tend to have higher interest rates, but many private lenders are more flexible about personal loan eligibility and repayment plans.

Depending on your financial situation and credit score, financial aid, grants or private school scholarships may be available to further reduce or eliminate the cost of education.

Loans for education

Education loans, known as K–12 tuition loans, can help you pay for the cost of a child's early education. They often have simple applications and reasonable interest rates.

Most lenders agree to finance up to the full tuition cost of your chosen private school. The institution receives approved private school tuition from the lender.

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In the table below, we have presented two education loans for you to compare:

Your tuition solutionDemocratic economics
Loan restrictions1.000 – 50.000 USDIndeterminate
Interest rates (APR)3,99% – 30,99%Not to exceed 35.99%
Repayment terms24, 36, 48, 60, 72 or 84 months12 – 60 months
feesThere is no application feeIt is not specified
Prepayment penaltiesNoNo
Notable featuresMost applicants receive a decision within seconds, but the longest waiting time is 2 hours.Once approved, receive funds in 1-2 business days.

>>Read more:What can student loans be used for?

Personal loans

Personal loans are another option for families looking to finance private education. Interest rates may be higher on student loans for borrowers with excellent credit.

However, you will have more personal lenders to choose from. Take a look at oursguide to the best personal loansfor more information on finding the right loan for you.

We researched three personal lenders:

Loan restrictions5.000 – 100.000 USDUp to $50,0005.000 – 100.000 USD
Interest rates5,99%23,99% with automatic payment7,96%35,97%Fixed prices as low as7,99% APR
Repayment terms24 – 144 months24 – 84 months24 – 84 months
feesNo charge1.85% to 8.99% of original feeNo fees are required
Do prepayment penalties apply?YesYesYes
Anything uniqueSome of the lowest rates in the industryFlexibility and adaptabilitySame day financing

Alternatives to student loans for private high schools

If your family can't afford tuition out-of-pocket, you may qualify for alternative financing options.

Consider the following before taking out student loans or personal loans, as some of them do not require repayment.

Government vouchers

Although the national government does not provide federal student loans for private high schools, several states offer funds to help families cover the cost of private education.

Qualified students in 14 states and the District of Columbia can use themgovernment vouchers. Voucher eligibility varies by state, but families often must meet certain income requirements or have a child with special needs.

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Follow the links below to learn more about each state's program:

Financial aid to the school

Many private schools will provide thisFinancial Aidif your family cannot cover the total cost of tuition. Eligibility varies by school, so it's important to research the options available at the school you're considering.

Tuition payment plans

Schools often offer tuition payment plans, allowing families to spread the cost of tuition over several months. These can include monthly payments, extended payment options, and even interest-free programs that make private schooling affordable.


Special scholarships and bursaries are available to help students meet the cost of their education. These are often merit-based, skill- or ability-based awards that can be applied to the cost of tuition or fees.

Local businesses, churches, community organizations and other associations raise money for scholarships each year. By applying for scholarships, your student could earn money for their private high school.

Coverdell Education Savings Account

You can budget for the cost of a K-12 private school by saving on oneCoverdell Education Savings Account (ESA). Contributions are tax-deductible, but when it's time to pay for school, withdrawals are tax-deductible as long as they don't exceed the eligible costs of your child's education.

Special education costs include tuition, fees, books, computer technology, tutoring, and special needs services.

529 plans

ONE529 planis another tax-advantaged educational savings vehicle that helps families save for future educational expenses. Borrowers can use these programs for private high school tuition or college programs. However, the withdrawal limit of $10,000 per year, per student, applies to private high school tuition and prior education.

529 plans have higher contribution limits and less stringent eligibility requirements than Coverdell ESAs. You won't pay federal income tax on withdrawals for qualified education expenses, and several states offer additional tax credits for contributions and withdrawals.

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Tax credits

You cannot deduct private school tuition on your federal tax return. You can take it thoughdiscounts or creditsabout government refunds depending on the 529 plan and whether it is government sponsored.

Below are some states with a 529 status plan that allows credits or deductions. This list is not complete, so check your state's offers.

  • Alabama
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Minnesota
  • Ohio
  • South Carolina
  • Wisconsin

Talk to a tax professional to find out how to take advantage of this savings.

Talk to your private school about other financial aid options available. They may be able to help you find a way to cover your tuition without taking out a loan or draining your savings.

How to apply for a private high school loan

If you've decided that taking out student loans for a private high school makes sense for your family, it's time to shop around. When looking for loans, research multiple lenders for the best terms and competitive rates.

Most lenders require prequalification so you can see available rates and terms based on your credit score and other factors. A default is often a "soft" credit check, which will not affect your credit score.

Favorable terms and interest rates can save you significant money over the life of the loan, so it's worth the time it takes to research the options. This includes considering education loans and personal loans.

When to apply

When you apply depends on how long it takes the lender to review your application and complete the loan approval. Most lenders will approve you within days (some within seconds). However, applying right before the school year starts can be more stressful than it needs to be, so you can apply early.

Many parents apply months before their child starts high school, often during the summer. You can apply for private high school student loans once your child has been accepted and you've made a deposit.

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I remember: For personal loans, you must start making payments as soon as you receive the lump sum, even if your child's tuition has not yet been paid or the semester has not started.

You can choose to cover the estimated cost of four years of tuition at once. However, if tuition fees vary, you may choose to apply in advance of each school year. If the cost of tuition for four years exceeds the maximum you can borrow for a personal loan, you may need to take out new loans before each school year.

How to decide between loans

When you qualify for multiple loans, weigh the pros and cons of each option. Different lenders are likely to have different terms, so comparing rates, fees and terms is helpful.

Consider the following:

  • Interest rate: Your interest rate will often depend on your credit rating and the length of the loan, how many months you will spend repaying the loan. Shorter loan terms are usually offeredlower interest rates.
  • Fees and penalties: Some lenders charge an origination fee when you take out a loan, often as a percentage of the total loan. This can cost you hundreds of dollars, so it's important to know the charges up front. You'll also want to know if you were charged a penalty for paying off the loan faster than the original loan term.
  • The insured against the uninsured: Secured loans require you to use property as collateral, such as your home, which the lender can seize if you default on your payments. Unsecured loans require no collateral, but depend more on your credit rating and track record for approval.

What should you report?

Most private lenders require borrowers to be 18 years old, have enough income to repay the loan and have a credit history that meets the criteria.

If you're looking for low interest rates, it's best to have a good or excellent credit score.

Plan to provide the following documentation:

  • Identification, such as a driver's license or passport
  • Personal contact information, including address and email
  • Proof of citizenship or foreigner with residence
  • Proof of income, such as a bank statement
  • Proof of assets (ie home or investments) for secured loans
  • Information about the purpose of your loan (such as a tuition statement)

Private high schools can choke your wallet. Many lenders offer student loan options to parents to pay private high school tuition and fees.

These loans provide families with the opportunity to afford quality education.

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Private High School Student Loans | LendEDU? ›

There are many types of private student loans, including degree-specific loans, international student loans, and bad credit loans.

What are 3 common types of private student loans? ›

There are many types of private student loans, including degree-specific loans, international student loans, and bad credit loans.

Do private student loans qualify for forgiveness? ›

No. Since private student loans aren't controlled by the government, borrowers don't have the same protections they do with federal student loans. So, while private loan lenders may have the power to forgive student loans, they're certainly not going to let you or your student loans off the hook.

Can federal student loans be used for private school? ›

While the national government doesn't provide federal student loans for private high school, several states offer funding to help families cover the expense of private education. Qualified students in 14 states and the District of Columbia may use these government vouchers.

Who is eligible for private student loans? ›

Eligibility for Private Student Loans

The borrower must be creditworthy or have a creditworthy cosigner. More than 90% of private student loans to undergraduate students and more than 75% of private student loans to graduate students are made with a creditworthy cosigner.

How hard is it to get private student loans? ›

Are private student loans hard to get approved for? Private student loans generally have tougher eligibility requirements than federal loans. In addition to age, income, and credit score minimums, students must be enrolled at an eligible school and use funds for specific expenses.

What is the risk of private student loans? ›

The Cons of Private Student Loans

Needing to borrow from a private student loan or a Federal Parent PLUS loan can be a sign of over-borrowing. Most private student loans do not offer income-driven repayment plans. Private student loans do not qualify for teacher loan forgiveness or public service loan forgiveness.

Will Biden cancel private student loans? ›

The broad student loan forgiveness which President Joe Biden announced on Aug. 24 doesn't apply to private student loans. Private lenders fund them, not the federal government.

Does Biden loan forgiveness apply to private loans? ›

Private student loan borrowers can't count on President Biden to forgive their debt. So far, Biden and the U.S. Department of Education have canceled the debts of disabled people, those defrauded by defunct for-profit schools, soldiers deployed to war zones, and public service workers.

How to get rid of private student loan debt without paying? ›

One of the few ways to get rid of private student debt is through discharge bankruptcy. It's an arduous — and expensive — process. You'll have to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, then file an additional lawsuit known as an adversary proceeding.

Why would a school deny a private student loan? ›

Lenders may look at your employment history, credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and enrollment status at your school. One of the most common reasons why a student might not qualify for a private student loan is because they don't meet their lender's FICO® Credit Score criteria.

Do private student loans require FAFSA? ›

While you can get student loans without filling out the FAFSA, they may not be the best loans for your financial circumstances. You can obtain a private student loan without filling out the form, but if you want to get a Federal Student Loan or a Parent PLUS Loan, you must fill out the FAFSA.

Why do people get private student loans instead of federal? ›

Chance for low interest rates: If you're a graduate or professional student or a parent, it is possible to get a lower interest rate through a private lender than through the federal government if you have excellent credit — sometimes three or four percentage points lower than the federal rate.

What is the maximum private student loan amount? ›

Private Student Loan Limits

Most private student loans have aggregate loan limits of $75,000 to $120,000 for undergraduate students and higher limits for graduate and professional students. These aggregate loan limits usually include all student loan debt, including both federal and private student loans.

Can a parent apply for a private student loan? ›

A private student loan can be borrowed by a parent to help cover the cost of attendance. Private student loans are offered by many private student loan lenders. In addition, a parent may cosign a student loan for their child.

How much money can I borrow in private student loans? ›

Private student loan limits

Unlike most federal loans, with private lenders, like Earnest1, you can borrow up to 100% of the school's certified cost of attendance, including money to cover the cost of textbooks, housing, and even transportation. And, there aren't aggregate loan limits.

What type of loan is a private student loan? ›

Private student loans: These loans are nonfederal loans, made by a lender such as a bank, credit union, state agency, or a school.

What is an example of a private student loan? ›

Definition and Example of a Private Student Loan

For example, Citizens Bank is a private lender that offers a variety of loan products for higher education, including undergraduate loans, graduate loans, parent loans, and the refinancing of existing student loans.

What are the three most common types of loans? ›

Three common types of loans are personal loans, auto loans and mortgages.

What are private student loans also known as? ›

Private Education Loans, also known as Alternative Education Loans, help bridge the gap between the actual cost of your education and the limited amount the government allows you to borrow in its programs.


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